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Signs You Might Be Overtraining

We often promote the reasons to work out with the countless health benefits. Most individuals in the UK should be moving more than they currently do, but what about those who are overtraining? 

Overtraining is a reasonably common pitfall for many fitness enthusiasts, often overlooked in the pursuit of better results. Pushing yourself hard at the gym can lead to significant fitness gains. This is definitely true, but when does it become too much? Overtraining can stall your progress and can lead to health issues. 

Here's how you can identify the signs of overtraining and how to avoid it.

What is Overtraining?

Overtraining occurs when an imbalance between workout intensity and duration and the body's ability to recover. It can happen to anyone exercising beyond their body's recovery capacity, particularly without adequate rest and nutritional support.

Signs of Overtraining

Persistent Fatigue
Feeling tired after a workout is typical, especially if you've pushed hard. However, suppose you're constantly feeling drained, and the fatigue persists even after getting plenty of sleep. In that case, it might be a sign of overtraining.

Increased Susceptibility to Infections
Overtraining can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. If you get sick more often than usual, it could signal that your body is under too much stress from excessive exercise.

Mood Swings or Irritability
Overtraining doesn't just affect your physical health; it can impact your emotions, too. Feelings of irritability, depression, or mood swings can all be symptoms of an overtaxed system.

Decreased Performance and Stalled Progress
Instead of improving, your workout performance might plateau or even decline. This can be particularly frustrating if you're training harder than ever but not seeing the results you're aiming for.

Prolonged Muscle Soreness
While muscle soreness after a workout is typical, lasting soreness that doesn't disappear is a sign of overtraining. This prolonged soreness could indicate your muscles haven't had enough time to recover properly.

Insomnia or Restless Sleep
Intense training can sometimes lead to restlessness and insomnia due to an overactive nervous system and hormonal imbalances, indicating that you might be overtraining.

Loss of Appetite
Overtraining can affect your appetite. It's not uncommon to feel less hungry if your body is in distress, struggling to recover from excessive physical demands.

Preventing Overtraining

Listen to Your Body
Learning to listen to your body is crucial. Recognise the signs of fatigue and stress, and allow yourself adequate time to recover.

Schedule Regular Rest Days
Incorporate regular rest days into your workout schedule. This is vital for muscle recovery and overall health.

Maintain a Balanced Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet that includes enough carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can help support your body's recovery processes.

Monitor Your Performance
Keep an eye on your performance metrics. If you notice decreased performance, consider if you need to push harder.

Get Plenty of Sleep
Ensure you are getting enough sleep each night. Quality sleep is critical for recovery and overall well-being.

Consult with Professionals
When in doubt, consult with one of our staff members or your personal trainer. They can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances.

Gary Lockwood, our CEO

We want to encourage people to use our facilities as much as possible. However, overtraining can be an issue for some people without knowing it. Everyone's goals will differ, so I can't give specific advice here; I can say, though, don't ignore the tell-tell signs above; listen to your body!